4 min read
How many office locations do you have? One, two, 10 or 100? It’s hard, isn’t it? Keeping everyone on the same page. As the Internal Communications Manager at Reward Gateway, I struggle myself and have to constantly re-evaluate our approach to employee communications. I was tasked with building a communication bridge to connect our global workforce: 375 employees in five countries. I enthusiastically dove head first.
Here at RG, we live and breathe our mission, purpose and values daily. Our “Think Global” value teaches us that we are part of something bigger. Essentially, we are strong because we are united.
Success comes from working together across departmental, geographical and cultural boundaries to achieve something greater than what individuals can do separately.
Building an inclusive internal communications platform that unites our employees so they can build stronger connections is a key way we connect our global team members. Embedding these deep connections among individuals leads to them making better decisions, collaborating together towards one mission and all the other benefits of creating an engaged organization.
Two years ago, Forrester Research said that over 63 million Americans will work virtually, compared to 2010 when there were 34 million flexible and virtual workers. Fast-forward to now and technology has come even further. Meaning, year-over-year this trend will only continue to rapidly grow along with technology’s speed.
Flexibility in today’s work landscape is key. When organizations enable their workforce to work remotely, work from home, take a longer maternity leave, or take a sabbatical, they express a sense of trust in their employees. Organizations can also simply outline the importance of a work-life integration, empowering their workforce to be happier, more engaged and more transparent.
But workplace flexibility goes beyond just your working conditions – it’s about adapting your employee communications to meet a variety of audiences. It’s no shock that people absorb and react to information in different ways. When you look around, do you notice how many people are on their cell phones? Mobile is where it’s at. Last year, the New York Times reported that Americans on average check their phone 80 times a day, every 12 minutes.
Communications should mirror how people interact with content on other news and social platforms.
The average person is bombarded with messages each day, so how do we cut through the noise? If your internal communication isn’t easily accessible on mobile devices, you’re behind. Tools that emphasize mobile usage and support on-the-go workers are ideal for sharing employee communications and keeping them in one convenient spot.
In my role, I frequently share lots of messages with the entire organization. It would be easy if everyone was sat down at a desk all day, but we have a varied workforce today. Even though people may not be on a computer, they’re still connected and receiving information from their organizations. So how do we reach offline employees with internal communications?
When your workforce is based around the globe, or even dispersed locally, communication should be consistent, easy to digest and accessible. Diversify your message so that it’s well-received across your company. Here at RG, we have TVs set up around the office that give people bite-sized company updates as another way to digest information.
Let’s take for example our CEO, Doug Butler. Doug travels all the time to different RG offices or events around the globe. Typically on Sundays, Doug writes his company update from where ever he is – at his home in California or on an airplane going to Sydney. Being able to write from any location on any day of the week allows him to continuously prepare his themed employee communications initiative for the week, like “Mission Mondays.”
His blog is then shared with the whole company at the beginning of the week and employees can read Doug’s update on any device, whether they’re on their commute into work or reading it at home after dinner. It’s about being flexible with the way your employees digest information.
Our office is global, but maybe your employees are simply in different offices or towns nearby. Our Product Manager, Cat Wright is based in New Zealand, so we consider how the different time zones affect how our workforce communicates and absorbs information. We wouldn’t want to post an important announcement on a Friday when it’s technically already Saturday in New Zealand. It’s a known fact that most people don’t check their messages as much on the weekend. We want to be in alignment with that.
Last but not least, our Head of Client Communications, Megan Gough has been out on maternity leave recently. Although she’s tending to her responsibilities outside of work, she gets the same information as everyone else at the company, so she feels in the loop and connected even though she may not be face-to-face. Megan’s not only able to access these universal updates, but also can communicate with all colleagues remotely and effortlessly.
Keeping your team connected on-the-go, remotely or even with diversified messages in the office is key to improving employee communications. Adopt internal communications tools that enable you to reach new heights when connecting with your employees. Ask yourself, what does “Mission Monday” look like at my organization? How can I connect my entire workforce to my mission, purpose and values to increase employee engagement?